Scars…

from a different viewpoint.


All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.

Anatole France

On a recent flight my seatmate was a woman slightly older than myself but as you do in close quarters, we began to chat. Summing up your life history in a few short sentences is somewhat freeing. Each time you share your story, even if it’s with someone you’re likely never to see again, it opens the door to healing scars that may not be visible from the outside.

Gazing out over the mountains below she spoke with regret of the place where she had gotten married, a place that I have been to on several occasions and each time have been seduced by its beauty.

You see it burned in the fall of 2017, 19,303 hectares in the park itself. She said it was now ugly, it would never be the same, and she likely would not return. I was surprised by that reaction, so at odds with my own. I shared some images with her that I had taken over the last two years but where I saw signs of strength and survival she saw only haunting scars.

She’s a breast cancer survivor and I couldn’t help but wonder what she feels about herself when she confronts a mirror. When I see scars, especially devastating ones, I always think of the strength that it must have taken to push beyond that and to survive.

Change is a good thing. It gives us the opportunity to create a new narrative and to perhaps do a better job when we tell the next story.

Be optimistic, be brave, and most of all be kind.


Happy…

heartaversary!

DSC_9250It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.

Edmund Hillary

Tomorrow marks two years and a day that we will celebrate. The details are private but the message is a common one.

Much is written on overcoming adversity and my views tend to line up with those who embrace a challenge rather than those who take it as an excuse to give up and throw in the towel.

It’s easy to get in our own way when life interjects those defining moments. Those things that you didn’t plan on, those challenges that you didn’t know were just around the corner.

Two years ago when life handed him a life or death challenge, he met it, one light pole at a time, and watching him age backwards from that day is a joy to see.

Happy heartaversary my sweet man, your strength continues to inspire me.

 

 

Working on …

a comeback.

DSC_5401-Edit-Edit-2The real glory is being knocked to your knees and then coming back. That’s real glory. That’s the essence of it.

Vince Lombardi

On a personal note… I am so proud of this man.

Portraits are not my first love but when there is an amazing story attached, one that inspires and gives you faith in the human spirit, it’s a treat to be behind the lens!

Don’t pass up an opportunity to photograph anything that you connect with even if it’s outside your comfort zone.

Sometimes it’s the little things…

that make all the difference.

DSC_5017The stronger a man is, the more gentle he can afford to be.

Elbert Hubbard

We look at images for many different reasons but what compels you to go back to a single image over and over again?

On this day with temperatures in the single digits, I wasn’t outside alone photographing my tiny, intimate landscapes. A first for me, I had a willing participant and the captured image that I loved the most from that morning wasn’t one of the tiny frost covered bubbles, a single snowflake, or an elegant forest of hoar-frost.

I keep going back to this one because it speaks to me of quiet strength and confidence. This is a man who is far more comfortable dead-lifting in a gym, teaching self-defense moves, or performing choreographed fight movements; a kung fu style of moving meditation.

Yet he was a willing participant in my morning single digit temperature photo shoot. That willingness showed me a strength that I had to turn my camera towards. It was one of those moments in photography where you think you’ll be shooting one thing but something else happens.

I think photographers tend to be solitary by nature but having someone to share the beauty of the frozen landscape with, in the moment and not just by a later shared image, was a new experience for me.

First tip of the new year…stay fluid and look for moments. Your image of the day isn’t always going to be the one that you planned!

I have a feeling that this year is going to be very interesting.

A thank you…

to my friends and family.DSC_2923I have dreamed in my life, dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas; they have gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the color of my mind.

Emily Bronte

For me texture and light are like candy for the eye and I can have a lot of fun playing with double exposures and in camera image overlays to create images that blend those elements.

Sometimes it can be as little as a softening effect and other times it can dramatically change the landscape.

Life’s a lot like that.

There are times so intense that a filter is urgently needed in order to let those moments flow through.

To my friends and family, some of whom have been always present and some of whom are new,  I can’t thank you enough for the love and support.

You know who you are…

 

On death…

in life.

DSC_1904I have always looked upon decay as being just as wonderful and rich an expression of life as growth.

Henry Miller

Death is as much a part of life as living is.

In nature, in relationships, and in dreams there comes a time to make peace with what is and be willing to start a new chapter.

There is beauty in its finality and hope in its expression.

Weathering…

the storm.DSC_8282-2A few minutes ago every tree was excited, bowing to the roaring storm, waving, swirling, tossing their branches in glorious enthusiasm like worship. But though to the outer ear these trees are now silent, their songs never cease.

John Muir

One of my favorite things about summer is the storms that roll through late in the day.

The sun slips towards the horizon amidst the backdrop of a fast flowing river and I think to myself…the calm before the storm.

The perfect time for long exposure tripod shots.

The heady scent of rain mixes with cloud to cloud lightning and the trees dance.

I shoot until the rain begins to soak through my clothes and only then do I seek shelter.

I dry off and think about the storms that the upcoming week will bring…